The Scholarship Hunt: Part II

In Part II we’ll take a look at scholarships that are awarded to you from a particular institution for use only at that institution.  I’m not recommending you make these the only criteria in choosing colleges to apply to, but it’s certainly one worthwhile consideration.  There are two broad categories worth noting.

The first category is one in which the institution, or some part of it, has decided to encourage a particular type of applicant.  One of the best examples I can think of is Washington College, which is located in Maryland.  Washington offers a scholarship of $12,500 per year to every National Honor Society (NHS) member they admit.  There is no special application, and no interview committee to satisfy.  Clearly Washington College wants the type of student found in the NHS, and they are willing to cough up some serious cash to get them.

Many colleges and universities offer merit scholarships based on published criteria.  For instance, the Rider University publishes information showing that many students will likely qualify for significant aid.  You can read more about their scholarships by looking at their web page.

Many other colleges of a wide range of scholarships that you may qualify for.  Be sure to research the sites of colleges you're considering.

The second category is where someone in the institution wants a particular student because of something that particular student has to offer.  It could be a star athlete, an exceptionally talented musician, or a writer with great promise.  In any case, someone at the institution will have to convince someone in financial aid that the particular student in question is worth some special consideration.

If you have some skill or talent that might be sought to this degree, that “someone” who pulls the strings may recruit you.  If not, you may want to seek them out and ask for their help with financial aid.

Students who want athletic scholarships will want to pay close attention to their grades, especially in their core courses.  Failure to take the right classes (as early as grade 9!) and get the right grades, in combination with SAT scores, can make a student absolutely ineligible for athletic scholarships.  For more information, visit the NCAA Eligibility Center here.  (If that last link doesn't work, just google "NCAA Eligibility Center."   Their pages are a little unusual.)

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